Thursday, July 15, 2010

Open Source Hardware Gets Formal Definition

Open Source Hardware Draft Definition version 0.3 is up for review. You never know how these things can be used in the future so it might be good to review if you have an open hardware project in the works.

I would prefer there wasn't such strict requirements for documentation, technology neutrality, or source code. Generic hardware that could be used for many purposes don't seem to fit the definition for open hardware.  For example, processor modules have a specific interface and are pretty self-explanatory from the schematic and data-sheets.  Also, an open source hardware developer may not have the engineering staff to develop the formal documentation and source code required by the current definition. I think the software development and documentation could be left to separate open-source groups. Open-source projects like have reverse engineered commercial products to run useful software without access to any documentation or even schematics.

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